Educating a child with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) or Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) is not an easy task. Parents of such children can hear complaining feedbacks from teachers about bad manners, misbehave or even naughtiness. According to the recent estimation by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are approximately 6.4 mln children with ADHD.
Quite often people use these two terms – ADHD and ADD – interchangeably that can cause lots of misunderstanding. One of the main myths is that all children with ADHD are hyperactive. That’s not true. Despite ADD is one of three subtypes of ADHD and they both mean the certain condition of the human brain that affects the person’s ability to keep focus on doing daily things, there are certain important differences between them.
So what is the difference between ADHD and ADD? Let’s try to understand.
What is ADHD? Strengths and weaknesses
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a behavioral developmental disorder that begins in childhood. It is manifested by such symptoms as difficulty concentrating, hyperactivity and poorly controlled impulsiveness.
According to statistics, ADHD is almost 5 times more common in boys than in girls. Some studies indicate that this syndrome is more common among Europeans, blonde and blue-eyed children. ADHD tends to occur among family members. In fact, ADHA is a very real developmental disorder that affects 11% of schoolchildren in the U.S.
ADHD can be briefly characterized as ‘hyperactivity without inattention’ with such symptoms as trouble paying attention, restlessness, impulsive speech and action, loud speech, overactive, such child can have a quick temper. At the same time these children have beautiful strengths: they are energetic, are always eager to try new things, hard-working and perseverant. But what can be hard for them is to communicate with others, may have learning difficulties, sometimes they may seem depressed and unmotivated.
What is ADD?
Attention deficit disorder (ADD) is a general term often used to characterize individuals that have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder without hyperactive and impulsive behaviors. In simple words it can be characterized as inattention without hyperactivity. Children with ADD have the following symptoms: trouble with following directions and assignments, shy or withdrawal behavior, easily distracted, they may seem disorganized or careless, slow to process information. Along with that, these children are beautiful ‘creative minds’, very often they are gifted and can draw and paint, they are intelligent and determined, just live in their own pace.
Parents and teachers should remember that these kids can have problems with punctuality, fear of expressing feelings, they find difficult to relax due to anxiety and, like children with ADHD, may seem depressed and unmotivated.
Education and medication of children with ADHD/ADD
A child with ADHD/ADD are usually educated together with their peers, but teachers should pay attention to his needs, for example, to give more time to the task, to put the child in more quiet part of the room where it will be less distracted.
A child with ADHD also needs the support of adults in controlling behavior and level of attention. Modern teaching methods should be applied to educate such kids that help to focus and learn the course material.
Parents and teachers should learn how to adjust the ADHD/ADD child’s behavior, to direct his energy and support him. This involves the development of problem solving skills, skills, open and effective communication, anger management and conflict resolution. Medical treatment is limited to taking ADHD stimulant drugs of amphetamines group, such as Ritalin and Dexedrine.
These drugs reduce the level of hyperactivity in children and help concentrate. There has also been improved behavior (reduction of aggression, forgetfulness). However, these drugs have some side effects, including insomnia, loss of appetite and weight, depression and drowsiness.